Quick Study: Humanizing and Dehumanizing the Digital Experience

In business’s drive to digital transformation and efficiency, humanizing the digital experience is vital. Here is an updated collection of InformationWeek articles that highlight progress made and work to be done.

James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer

November 13, 2023

8 Min Read
Futuristic, hologram or woman in metaverse on purple background gaming, cyber or scifi on digital overlay.
Yuri Arcurs via Pixabay

Maybe you can relate to this. My dog senses when I’m dealing with a poorly designed chatbot or automated phone system. Even before the four-letter words come out, she senses my frustration and strolls out to the next room.

For all the good will engendered by a great digital experience, a bad customer or employee experience can stamp a black mark on any organization’s brand.

In business’s drive to digital transformation and efficiency, humanizing the digital experience is vital. We want technology that understands us as people, what we say, what we need, and when we need it. The experience isn’t a thing itself, but it comprises any number of technologies: chatbots, robotic process automation, voice applications, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and easy internet access.

In this Quick Study, you can see how InformationWeek writers have been tracking the overall digital experience and some of the core components that shape that experience.

The Digital Experience Today

How We’re Doing on Humanizing the Digital Experience

A lot of time, effort, and money has been spent on humanizing the digital experience. So how are we doing so far? Well, it’s kind of a mixed bag. Here’s a look at some of the shiniest and dullest examples along the way.

CIO Role Expands into Company Culture, Customer Experience

As the pandemic drove more transactions and work online, the enterprise CIO's role expanded to be more focused on business, customers, and employee culture. At least three-quarters of CIOs say their role has expanded with new responsibilities but also greater influence on leadership decisions within their organizations.

Tips on Getting Digital Inclusion Right

There are lots of good reasons to jump headlong into digital inclusion projects throughout your company. But the bottom line is that making it easy for anyone to do business with you makes it more appealing for everyone to do business with you.

Accelerating Digital Transformation: Turning Data into CX

Many say the pace of digital transformation has slowed, but IT teams are just ushering in the acceleration phase as businesses ensure transformed internal systems are translated externally.

In-House Gatekeepers Help CIOs Drive Digital Initiatives

CIOs and CFOs must forge strong partnerships to execute powerful digital transformation strategies and achieve larger organizational goals.

Next Wave of Digital Transformation and Its Impact on IT

From cybersecurity to metaverse, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies in almost every industry sector, and it is the impacting IT group.

A Digital Transformation Team Is Only as Good as the Sum of its Parts

Redefining the notion of teamwork in a post-pandemic world as companies have accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations.

All Eyes on the Customer

Let Customer Experience Guide Processes, Systems

Companies can win by putting customers first. Here’s how IT can help them do it right.

Why Customer Experience is the Driver for Modern Commerce Architecture

Since the pandemic, enterprises have upped their digital transformation strategies. To remain competitive today, businesses must adopt a customer-focused architecture that offers flexibility and agility.

Digital Transformation Is a Must Have in Financial Markets

While greater organizational efficiency is a byproduct, the real advantage is in better data protection and increased consumer confidence.

Why Your Digital Onboarding Is Driving Away Customers

With people demanding digital services, businesses face challenges in secure onboarding of new customers. They need to offer a streamlined process to serve new customers, while protecting themselves from fraud.

How to Build Privacy By Design Into Customer Experience

The predatory nature of data collection is spiking demand for data privacy protection as part of the customer experience. Are you ready to deliver that?

How Intelligent Applications Can Boost Sales

CIOs can help management grow sales by proposing an intelligent application initiative. Here’s what you need to know to get started.

What Some Customers and Employees Hate About Chatbots

Want to talk to a human? You're not alone. The fundamental problem with chatbots is language. Users are frustrated when chatbots don't understand them.

Rethinking the Workplace

Redefining the Hybrid Workplace for Experience Parity

It’s time for companies to abandon the old hybrid “here vs. there” model and engage in purposeful conversations to successfully integrate physical and online workspaces across the business.

Human-Robot Teams: The Next IT Management Challenge

Productivity can skyrocket when people and robots work together, yet so can human frustration and fury. Managers face the task of building an environment where trust, harmony and efficiency enable that productivity.

Is It Time for User Accountability?

CIOs have focused on an IT service culture, but how much is too much, and what responsibilities fall to users?

6 Principles to Ensure We Design Connected Products for Accessibility

We researched and identified several design and engineering accessibility principles based on existing practices to help create more equitable products, systems, and services.

Bridging the Digital Dexterity Skills Gap

The digitalization process has focused on digitalizing information. Business processes have changed, too -- but often with organizations not getting the impact that they thought they would. Do employees have the digital skills they need?


Smoothing Out the Edges for Remote Digital Worker Experience

IT teams are facing a new normal with the shift to remote work. Here are some key steps they may not be considering (but should) to improve the digital experience.

Enabling Your Workforce for the Digital Workplace

Building the digital workplace helps increase agility and resilience, but there are distinct steps to implementing it effectively and updating the company culture, especially on an accelerated timeline.

Automation Is a Game Changer, Not a Job Killer

Your employees may view automation as a threat rather than an asset. How can you shift their perspective and empower them to use automation to their own benefit?

Tech That Shapes the Digital Experience

Conversational AI: How It Works and Where It's Headed

The next person you speak with may not be a person at all. Welcome to the uncanny valley of conversational AI. It raises the possibility of chatbots designed to support complex tasks, such as organizing a daily schedule or pinpointing a fault lurking inside a complex mechanical device.

User Interface Rules That Should Never Be Overlooked

A user interface should be clear, attractive, and inherently intuitive. Many, unfortunately, are none of these things. However, skilled designers are working to craft interfaces that are both logical and easy to use.

AI Will Profoundly Impact Tech Products and Services

Here are five ways that artificial intelligence will change technology products and services in coming years.

How Enterprises are Evolving Their NLP

Natural language processing is the subset of AI that powers voice bots and text-based analytics. Here's how it's evolving in the enterprise.

Bridging from Now to the Pure Digital Future

Enterprises embarking on a digital transformation need to consider augmenting traditional or legacy systems that continue to do the job, rather than ripping and replacing them.

How IT Investments Will Shape Future of Work

Organizations must reimagine their IT infrastructure, processes, and operations to successfully navigate the hybrid work reset and ensure their workers are secure for years to come.

CRM Trends 2021: How the Pandemic Altered Customer Behavior Forever

Customers flocked to digital channels and faced life-changing events in 2020. Here's how enterprise companies are changing their CRM practices for a new normal.

Preparing for the Post-Password World

Passwords won’t truly go away altogether, but they can be moved farther into the background. However, the path to get to there will be ‘very long and messy.’ Also, the understanding of the term passwordless is misleading and a bit confusing.

Human-Centered Transformation Will Enable Greater Creativity in Tech

We’ve experienced an explosion of tech investment, but productivity has not kept pace with this level of investment. Human-centered transformation is the reorientation of the organization to recognize and unlock the inherent value in its people, according to Forrester analysts.

Analytics and Emotion: An Evolution in Business Intelligence

Bridging the gap between how SaaS companies promote analytics and users’ actual experiences.

Then, There’s the Metaverse

A CIO's Introduction to the Metaverse

The metaverse has arrived. Here's what CIOs need to know about it -- from business use cases, to risks, to vendor offerings from companies such as Microsoft, Nvidia, and Facebook.

How Artificial Intelligence Could Boost Artificial Reality

Can AI invigorate a sluggish AR market? You don’t need to don a headset to see the possibilities.

Into the Metaverse: A Game-Changing Year for UI and UX

The pandemic has changed the way we work and how we interact with digital tools, challenging old assumptions, and even upending traditional business models.

Virtual Reality Transforms the Workplace

Welcome to the metaverse, where virtual reality gets down to work. Your enterprise will never be the same. The metaverse's building blocks are already in place, providing the foundation for an entirely new enterprise landscape that focuses on how people interact and where they work.

How Execs Are Investing Now in the Metaverse’s Future

People are excited for the metaverse, but like any innovation, it’s going to take time and an immense amount of effort to make a fully immersive multi-platform digital world a reality.

About the Author(s)

James M. Connolly

Contributing Editor and Writer

Jim Connolly is a versatile and experienced freelance technology journalist who has reported on IT trends for more than three decades. He was previously editorial director of InformationWeek and Network Computing, where he oversaw the day-to-day planning and editing on the sites. He has written about enterprise computing, data analytics, the PC revolution, the evolution of the Internet, networking, IT management, and the ongoing shift to cloud-based services and mobility. He has covered breaking industry news and has led teams focused on product reviews and technology trends. He has concentrated on serving the information needs of IT decision-makers in large organizations and has worked with those managers to help them learn from their peers and share their experiences in implementing leading-edge technologies through such publications as Computerworld. Jim also has helped to launch a technology-focused startup, as one of the founding editors at TechTarget, and has served as editor of an established news organization focused on technology startups at MassHighTech.

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